This week's lectionary is a big help in getting us ready for getting ready. Matthew presents God as a judge of our actions and our inactions. The lesson from 1 Thessalonians also warns of the coming judgment that the Lord brings.
Yet, Paul also is consoling his listeners. "You do not need to be afraid of judgment. You have been faithful." He then reminds them to continue this way of being: "Keep on doing what you have been doing. "Your faith, your love, your hope are all protections for you."
God intends to save us, not destroy us. Paul states that this salvation comes through Christ. The question arises of whether Paul is teaching that our deeds are a factor or whether Christ can and will save the rest of us who don't have the deeds to deserve any saving.
Paul warns. Paul encourages. And Paul encourages us to encourage each other and to build up each other.
Lectio Divina: 1 Thessalonians 5:5-10